The Unity Centre is calling for the immediate release of Kenneth Obih from isolation in Brook House, where he has been kept for the past two weeks.
Kenneth was moved to the Care and Support Unit on the 27th June 2017, after being accused by the Centre of making a threat to sue G4S. Guards used considerable force when moving him to isolation. Whilst in isolation the ability to see healthcare, requests for food and water, as well as the ability to worship freely have been repeatedly denied.
People who have been trying to visit Kenneth also report that the staff in the centre are hanging up the phone on them.
He is being held under Rule 40 of the Detention Centre Rules, which states:
“Where it appears necessary in the interests of security or safety that a detained person should not associate with other detained persons, either generally or for particular purposes, the Secretary of State (in the case of a contracted-out detention centre) or the manager (in the case of a directly managed detention centre) may arrange for the detained person’s removal from association accordingly.”
Kenneth does not understand why his actions have justified segregation based on these rules, but in immigration detention, there are no mechanisms with which to challenge being held in isolation.
In a report written in 2015, Medical Justice condemned the widespread misuse of segregation in IRCs, especially as a way to punish non-compliant detainees.
“The use of segregation does not fit in with the stated intention of immigration detention and the effect on those individuals subject to inappropriate segregation can be devastating.”
It is also our understanding that Kenneth’s current detention is unlawful as his solicitors have made representations to the High Court, concerning the recent Supreme Court judgement, that said that the Home Office’s “deport now, appeal later” is unlawful. Detention should only happen when there is a “realistic prospect of removal”, which is not the case for Kenneth.
We are incredibly concerned for his welfare and are calling for Kenneth’s immediate release from isolation and from Immigration Detention.
You can read more about the use of segregation in the 2015 report from Medical Justice: